JS, History, 1838–1856, vol. C-1, created 24 Feb. 1845–3 July 1845; handwriting of , , Jonathan Grimshaw, and ; 512 pages, plus 24 pages of addenda; CHL. This is the third volume of a six-volume manuscript history of the church. This third volume covers the period from 2 Nov. 1838 to 31 July 1842; the remaining five volumes, labeled A-1, B-1, D-1, E-1 and F-1, continue through 8 Aug. 1844.
This document, “History, 1838–1856, volume C-1 [2 November 1838–31 July 1842],” is the third of six volumes of the “Manuscript History of the Church” (in The Joseph Smith Papers the “Manuscript History” bears the editorial title “History, 1838–1856”). The completed six-volume collection covers the period from 23 December 1805 to 8 August 1844. The narrative in this volume commences on 2 November 1838 with JS and other church leaders being held prisoner by the “’s forces” at , Missouri, and concludes with the death of Bishop at , Illinois, on 31 July 1842. For a more complete discussion of the entire six-volume work, see the general introduction to this history.
Volume C-1 was created beginning on or just after 24 February 1845 and its narrative was completed by 3 May 1845, although some additional work continued on the volume through 3 July of that year (Richards, Journal, 24 and 28 Feb. 1845; Historian’s Office, Journal, 3 May 1845; 3 and 4 July 1845). It is in the handwriting of and contains 512 pages of primary text, plus 24 pages of addenda. Additional addenda for this volume were created at a later date as a supplementary document and appear in this collection as “History, 1838-1856, volume C-1 Addenda.” Compilers and Thomas Bullock drew heavily from JS’s letters, discourses, and diary entries; meeting minutes; church and other periodicals and journals; and reminiscences, recollections, and letters of church members and other contacts. At JS’s behest, Richards maintained the first-person, chronological-narrative format established in previous volumes, as if JS were the author. , , , and others reviewed and modified the manuscript prior to its eventual publication in the Salt Lake City newspaper Deseret News.
The historical narrative recorded in volume C-1 continued the account of JS’s life as prophet and president of the church. Critical events occurring within the forty-five-month period covered by this text include the Mormon War; subsequent legal trials of church leaders; expulsion of the Saints from Missouri; missionary efforts in by the and others; attempts by JS to obtain federal redress for the Missouri depredations; publication of the LDS Millennial Star in England; the migration of English converts to ; missionary efforts in other nations; the death of church patriarch ; the establishment of the city charter; the commencement of construction of the Nauvoo ; the expedition that facilitated temple construction; the introduction of the doctrine of proxy baptism for deceased persons; the dedicatory prayer by on the Mount of Olives in Palestine; publication of the “Book of Abraham” in the Nauvoo Times and Seasons; publication of the JS history often referred to as the “Wentworth letter;” the organization of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo; and the inception of Nauvoo-era temple endowment ceremonies.
<April 10 ’s Letter> shall be happy to grant you the desire of your hearts; I am ready to act. Please to give me all the intelligence that is in your power. If you take a change of venue please to let me know what County you will come to, and when, as near as possible and what road you will come, for I shall be an Adder in the path. Yes my Dear Brethren, God Almighty will deliver you, fear not, for your redemption draweth near, the day of your deliverance is at hand. Dear Brethren I have it in my heart to lay my body in the Sand or deliver you from your bonds, and my mind is intensely fixed on the latter. Dear Brethren you will be able to judge of the Spirit that actuates my breast, for when I realize your sufferings my heart is like wax before the fire, but when I reflect upon the cause of your afflictions, it is like fire in my bones, and burns against your enemies to the bare hilt, and I never can be satisfied while there is one of them to piss against a wall, or draw a sword, or spring a trigger; for my sword never has been sheathed in peace; for the blood of , and those who were butchered at crieth for vengeance from the ground therefore hear O ye heavens, and record it, Oh! ye recording Angels, bear the tidings ye flaming Seraphs, that I from this day declare myself the Avenger of the blood of those innocent men, and of the innocent cause of Zion and of her Prisoners, and I will not rest until they are as free who are in Prison as I am.
Your families are all well and in good Spirits. May the Lord bless you all, Amen. Brs , and W. Barlow join in saying our hearts are as thy heart. Br. Joseph if my Spirit is wrong, for God’s sake correct it— Brethren be of good cheer, for we are determined as God liveth to rescue you from that hellish crowd, or die in the furrow. We shall come face fore most— .
N. B. S. B. Crockett (I have been once driven but not whipped) Br. sends his best respects to you all— ”
<11 ’s Letter> “Thursday 11. — .— After reading a line from you to myself, and one to which [HC 3:313] awakens all the feelings of tenderness and brotherly affection that one heart is capable of containing, I sit down in haste to answer it; My health and that of my family is good, and have been very sick but are getting better. Your families are in better health now that at any other period since your confinement. I am in hopes that my letter did not increase your trouble, for I know that your affliction is too great for human nature to bear, and if I did not know that there was a God in Heaven, and that his promises are sure and faithful, and that he is your friend in the midst of all your trouble, I would fly to your relief, and either be with you in Prison, or see you breathe free air, air too that had not been inhaled and corrupted by a pack of ruffians, who trample upon virtue and innocence with impunity, and are not even satisfied with the property and blood of the Saints, but must exult over the dead. You both have my prayers, my influence, and warmest feelings with a fixeddetermination, if it should so be, that you should be destroyed, to avenge your blood four fold. Joseph must excuse me [p. 917]